April 23, 2009
Obama Injects a Poison Into Politics
Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret.
Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama's victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.
If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials.
"Your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of 'chatter' equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks," wrote Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, in his August 1, 2002 memo. "In light of the information you believe [detainee Abu] Zubaydah has and the high level of threat you believe now exists, you wish to move the interrogations into what you have described as an 'increased pressure phase.'"
Within hours of Mr. Obama's Tuesday comments, Senator Carl Levin piled on with his own accusatory Intelligence Committee report. The demands for a "special counsel" at Justice and a Congressional show trial are louder than ever, and both Europe's left and the U.N. are signaling their desire to file their own charges against former U.S. officials.
Those officials won't be the only ones who suffer if all of this goes forward. Congress will face questions about what the Members knew and when, especially Nancy Pelosi when she was on the House Intelligence Committee in 2002. The Speaker now says she remembers hearing about waterboarding, though not that it would actually be used. Does anyone believe that? Porter Goss, her GOP counterpart at the time, says he knew exactly what he was hearing and that, if anything, Ms. Pelosi worried the CIA wasn't doing enough to stop another attack. By all means, put her under oath.
Mr. Obama may think he can soar above all of this, but he'll soon learn otherwise. The Beltway's political energy will focus more on the spectacle of revenge, and less on his agenda. The CIA will have its reputation smeared, and its agents second-guessing themselves. And if there is another terror attack against Americans, Mr. Obama will have set himself up for the argument that his campaign against the Bush policies is partly to blame.
By indulging his party's desire to criminalize policy advice, he has unleashed furies that will haunt his Presidency.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Wednesday that he prefers to have a bipartisan investigation of Bush-era interrogation policies but that separate congressional investigations will go forward, including his own committee's.
"I'm not one who feels we should turn the page if you haven't read the page," Leahy said.
Democrats on Wednesday defended the call for probes into the drafting and use of harsh interrogation techniques, a day after President Obama opened the door for potential prosecution of those lawyers who justified the tactics in legal memos.
"This isn't a partisan witch hunt," said Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., who also is on the Judiciary Committee.
An aide to Leahy said the senator is talking to Republican colleagues behind the scenes to try to build support for an independent commission, something Obama now says he would support.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, though, suggested the Justice Department is the best entity to examine the issue.
"I think that the lawyers that are involved are plenty capable of determining whether any law has been broken," he said. "I want to stress that that determination is not going to be made by the president, or the vice president, or anybody that works in the White House, because that's why many, many, many, many moons ago we created a Department of Justice."
Leahy's un-American activities commission
Many of the same members who are so critical today remained silent when they were briefed about our counterterrorism efforts. In December 2007, The Washington Post reported that in 2002 four members of Congress were given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and were briefed on interrogation techniques. The bipartisan group, which included Pelosi, was specifically briefed on waterboarding. None of the four complained, and one of them asked if the methods being used were tough enough.
The CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, including waterboarding and other interrogation techniques in 2002 and 2003. It is curious that lawmakers who were repeatedly briefed and raised no objections should subsequently criticize those very same policies. That the criticism came only when memories of the Sept. 11 attacks faded and public opinion shifted suggests a political motive. If that is the case, trying to prosecute those involved is the concomitant attempt to criminalize these political differences.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt)- in a 1985 television appearance Leahy disclosed classified information that one of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's telephone conversations had been intercepted. The information that Leahy revealed had been used in the operation to capture the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed American citizens, and the Union-Tribune claimed that Leahy's indiscretion may have cost the life of at least one of the Egyptian operatives involved in that operation. Because of his several leaks he was forced to step down from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Today he is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Hillary Clinton Disses Cheney on Torture Memos
Rep. Rohrabacher questions Hillary.
"It won't surprise you that I don't consider him (Cheney) a particularly reliable source." said Hillary Clinton.
Soros-funded MoveOn.org launched a new ad asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate "torture" by Bush Administration officials.
Wild Thing's comment.........
Karl Rove said, and I’m paraphrasing: “This is what you see in Third World coutries run by colonels wearing mirrored sunglasses.”
Maybe Obama thinks he can just throw some red meat to his base, that they'll be satisfied, and then he can divert their attention with another issue before it gets serious, but he may have unleased something he can't stop. This will end up having a life on it's own, except for one thing.......B. Hussein Obama gave birth to this.
Obama is insane and controlled by Soros who is an i evil, hateful man ....hmmmmm actually they both are. Only Obama is not the one with the smarts. I really don't think Obama is that bright, I could be wrong just a feeling when I watch him speak. He is slow and gives way too much time to trying to figure out what he wants to say.
The hate and blame Bush game got so much mileage for Obama that he is never going to let it go.
Posted by Wild Thing at April 23, 2009 07:47 AM
Levin and Leahy are Leftist traitors with years of anti American activity behind them. Hillary is being a smart assed bitch now that she has some power again.
Obama has opened a can of worms. Yes, it can come back to bite him, but he may be planning on being in power indefinitely. His recent meetings with Chavez and the Castros probably encouraged his ambition for never giving up the office.
Posted by: TomR at April 23, 2009 11:45 AM
If Holder is busy chasing ghosts, it will keep him away from the 2nd Amendment and the rest of the Constitution, at least for awhile.
Posted by: Mark at April 23, 2009 03:50 PM
Then Osama, Obama, Seotoro or whatever his name is should investigate Phonylosi, Peolsi first as she was briefed on this and by not asking questions if not sure she, was an idiot and by not opposing she affirmed it. Treat the rest as they do her and then drop this brain fart.
Posted by: Bob A at April 23, 2009 05:09 PM
Tom, I bet your right.....
"His recent meetings with Chavez and
the Castros probably encouraged his ambition
for never giving up the office."
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:16 AM
Mark, yes, I had not thought of that.
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:19 AM
Bob A., yes I agree, Pelosi has a hand
in agreeing to what was done. She will
lie that she didn't know anything like
a democrat does.
Posted by: Wild Thing at April 24, 2009 12:24 AM